After working unbelievably hard preparing last-minute holiday signage (above) over the Thanksgiving weekend for a client, they reneged on the contract yesterday. This situation is very upsetting for me. I put so much time and effort into creating the designs, producing the electronic files and making arrangements with a new vendor to print the signs quickly so we could install them asap.
The signage was meant to hang on the aging orange water-barriers surrounding a shared outdoor meeting space downtown. The project was cancelled because even though the samples and final designs received approval from the party who contacted me, they did not reflect the "brand" of a local business which shares the space. It seems that festive is not an aspect of their "aesthetic".
I spent 15-20 hours on this project, for which I will receive nothing. This is, unfortunately, an all to common occurrence for artists working in today's world. Which leaves me a bit heart-broken. To see the project fall flat due to a failure to conform to an established corporate image is disheartening. Yet, quite frankly, quite typical of my experience as an unconnected artist living in a city which tends to be rather cliquish, stuck in the past, unsupportive and narrow-minded when it comes to public art.
There is little I can do about a situation like this, but learn from it, and seek opportunities with folks who want to share joy and smiles.
This year I created new characters for Halloween. The idea of a rabbit vampire came to me the week before the holiday. So, I sketched one out and it cracked me up. The unstoppable dancing carrot arrived next. I know I am onto something if the idea for a character makes me laugh. Then it is just a matter of finding the right shapes, lines and colors to convey its personality to others. Which can take some time and a bit of trial and error. I know that a character is finished when I receive an "adorbs," "awesome," or "OMG, so cute" text message back from Jay.
Using the new characters, I created a simple triptych for the front lawn of the house, and two new stickers to give away for trick or treat. I was gifted a new photo printer earlier this year, so I made the stickers at home. It was a good opportunity to test the color and media settings/variations on the printer. I ganged up the stickers, 12 and 16 to a sheet, and printed them out. I hand cut almost 700 of them one night while dog sitting.
It was fun to sit on the front stairs, with my new neighbor, and pass the stickers out on Halloween night. It was even more fun to witness the reactions of the receivers. Most kids liked them, but a few avoided them completely, settling for just candy, Blue rabbits are not for everyone I suppose!
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